Manchester City Council

A Winters Tale - the Trilogy. Part 3

There is more to do than worry about the weather. This lunchtime I meet with my colleagues Councillors Jon-Leigh Pritchard and Con Keegan and our ward co-ordinator to discuss the items we want to discuss at ward co-ordination and decide that we want to concentrate on housing and the impact of the recession at our next meeting in a couple of weeks.

The Head of Regeneration bobs in to get agreement to an urgent report going to next week's Executive dealing with plans for several hundred new homes in the Moston area of the city. Don't ignore the weather though and have my daily meeting with the Director of Neighbourhood Services to go through what is happening on the ground. I then send out a briefing to all members of the Council. It's not confidential so I thought I would share today's with you. The Winter's Tale series is certainly provoking a lot of response which is very welcome. I'm quite happy to read criticism on the blog, but why, and I've noticed this on other comment sites too, do some people who disagree with me have to be rude as well. Can't be just the cloak of anonymity

Today's update:

 SMT met this morning and the following points were discussed/ actions noted

 *  Power cut reported yesterday in Hulme yesterday - resolved by 5.45pm. Good support between Adult Services, RSLs, voluntary agencies and Chief Execs -who provided assistance with staff to door knock and give advice to residents.

 *  More schools open today (52 in total) and more being helped to clear car parks and walkways in preparation for Monday.  Some A-level and A/S examinations are scheduled for Monday and those schools plan to be open to complete examinations.

 *  Vulnerable people continue to be supported- Adult Services responding to requests for help with getting elderly to GP appointments. Director undertaking interviews with community radio today with key messages about staying warm, helping neighbours etc.

 *  Received salt delivery yesterday but national shortage means deliveries will be controlled and prioritised by DfT.

 Again nearly all major services for communities are open including all Sure Start Centres (except two), Libraries, Leisure Centres etc.  Some refuse collections were completed and more are planned throughout the weekend to catch up on cancelled collections but still limited due to access and frozen conditions. Will review over the weekend and  make plans for the coming week if there is no thaw to the side roads - more information will be sent out about this  directly.

 *  Some further disruption to travel on Metrolink and trains due to extremely cold temperatures.

 *  Good media coverage today in response to efforts and key messages yesterday. Further details, particularly regarding schools will be circulated later today; Website and Intranet will provide updates over the weekend.

SMT have teams on call over the weekend to monitor the situation and will meet again first thing Monday to review position.

Make a comment

There are 12 responses to “A Winters Tale - the Trilogy. Part 3”

  1. Cat Says:

    Did you REALLY compare libraries opening to schools - Imean come Dick, I'm all for kids reading but when was the last time 1200 kids decided to spend the day in a libray AND wanted feeding, keeping safe and had it explained to them in a variety of different ways when they didn't understand what the book said? Get a reality check, teachers ARE dedicated we just don't want kids hurt, hungry and left in limbo because they can't get home again, durrr!

  2. Fidel Says:

    In case you havn't realised, teachers have kids too whose schools are also closed AND some of us went in work when told to - it's not the teachers who make the decisions, it's the Headtheachers and they only make that decision after careful consideration, sour grapes is rife - if you wanted to be a teacher then get a degree and train for the job, all of those people who moan about our holidays - everyone says they couldn't do our jobs but we always get slated when we close - tell the council to grit the roads so that food deliveries can be made, staff can get to work, fix the heating that's ancient and put your money where your blog is.

  3. Steve Holt Says:

    Its a great pity that good work is done by this council but then vulnerable adults like myself have to be treated as a nuisance by Letwise who have allowed a negligent and absent landlord to leave me in freezing conditions for days with no heat, water or working toilet. Is there any way to write direct to the Leader of the Council?

  4. Harry Spooner Says:

    Again, not wearing the cloak of anonymity. Yet again, my 7 year old daughter has managed to make it to school through uncleared and ungritted streets. Yet again, the bins in my street haven't been emptied. I look forward to a day of Sir Richard appearing in all the media complaining that bin wagons can't get through the streets that 5,4, 7 year olds and all their school staff can make it through streets that modern machines can't. What is it the little legs can do that council operativs can't; or doesn't health and safety matter to school childen and staff? Will you email fellow councillors to order an enquiry?

  5. Mr Bleach Says:

    Why was clearing a path outside of the Town Hall prioritised over gritting other more dangerous paths - for instance alongside URBIS?

  6. William Says:

    Reference 5

    Who do you think works there then!

  7. Richard Leese Says:

    The valid comparison between schools and libraries is that it is no harder for teachers to get to work than it is for librarians.I have a degree and for five years worked as a teacher including one year at a Junior High School in Duluth, Minnesota where for several months of the year staff and puils negotiated snow and ice every day, including in my case some very steep icy pavements, to get into school.I'm wondering if Harry put his bins out. They were collected on his street on 27th December, a Sunday, and again on 2nd Jan, a Saturday. Can't confirm 8th January yet, but the collection service was out again this Saturday and Sunday catching up on missed collections which gives me an idea. Why can't schools open up on a few weekends so that the pupils can get the lessons they've missed?

  8. William Says:

    Reference Number 7

    Its nice to know about the Schools in America. But do they have a Health and Safety procudure I think not. Once again if a child had fallen and broke a bone do you honestly think that the parents would not take the LEA/MCC to court. Would you then be as happy I think not. I for one like your idea of bringing the USA up maybe we could follow their idea were they don't have a local authority of the size we do no health service to name no social services for the elderly no public care homes or a school system that has failed millions in the USA. Maaybe a better choice of country that actually cares about those people that can't pay for all services. I too have experience of the USA and I for one are truely glad were nothing like them.

  9. Mr Bleach Says:

    Wow Richard you're going for it big time here. You have a valid point about schools this week, but not last week. The reality is that the paths have been atrocious [sic], especially near rail travel's poor relation, Manchester Victoria. I had to give first aid there a few weeks ago whilst when a lady took a tumble. The truth is that headteachers have to make very difficult decisions about opening schools which they should be left alone to make. As an ex-governor I know that headteachers make these decisions on the basis of health and safety. Safety for the obvious reasons but health in the sense of archaic heating systems that are so unreliable. But really, an admirable attempt to defend one of the "bravest" points of view. I'm sure your courage will be noted come election time!

  10. Logical Says:

    Wow, Sir Richard, class comments, not. You've lost my vote big time. Now I know why you're not still IN teaching.

  11. Disbelief Says:

    After teaching in Manchester for more than 25years; this must be the most aborable treatment I have ever recieved. What a council leader we have!!!! We don't need to be told how to make reasonable, sensible and considerate decisions, regarding the safety and welfare of our children and families. If you had the vision to clear roads and pavements ready for staff and pupils to return to work / school we would not have to listen to and suffer such insulting and unnecessary comments. Headteachers and teachers work considerably hard throughout the year and have the emotional welfare of pupils and families to heart. I could go on and on ... Your public comments have been disgraceful a public apology necessary I believe. Yes I agree with other comments, how glad I am that you are no longer a teacher - I would not want you as a colleague. I think my last thought should go to Naeemah Accha, God bless and protect her. Aren't you glad she didn't go to a Manchester School!!

  12. michael sugden Says:

    So Sir Richard after witnessing a teenage girl slip on the horendous ice on friday 14th January in a bus layby which fortunately was free of buses and the tragic death of a young schoolgirl in Blackburn it goes to show that the health and safety of children is paramount, yes I agree eduction is a very important aspect of the development of our children but your comments regarding the closures of schools during this spell of severly adverse weather has prooved 100% incorrect. I say we should always allow children to stay at home when their safety quite clearly cannot be guaranteed.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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